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Why Keep a Star Needs to Go - Applying Game Theory and Prisoner’s Dilemma to Ranked

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Using Game Theory to explain why the keep a star function hurts ranked gameplay and why it’s time to ditch it.  Basically it is more beneficial for a player to play to keep a star than to play to win.  This plays out at some level every single round.  The more players that do this, the more it impacts your chance to win.   

 

 

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much truth here.  there's nothing we can do about this in regular random battles, at least for so long as the primary reason to play regular random is to gain XP to advance down ship lines, and XP remains primarily a function of damage-done and other "selfish" metrics.  

 

But with ranked if we adopt a system similar to the way clan battles work we might avoid this paradigm in what is supposed to be a legitimate competitive mode.

Edited by Shadeylark

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Keeping a star is a good thing. There are so many lemmings they deserve to lose stars.

When I play rank, I always go to the other cap and tank the ships there or cap if if there isn't. 80% chance I keep my star if I lose.

If people were not so selfish and call 1 cap instead of divide and conqueror... It would be hard to keep a star. I never seen people beat me in ranked sitting in 1 spot just shooting. You have to be doing a poor job at playing the match to lose to someone like that.

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I think there should be a "broken back" system where if the top XP earner on the losing team earns more XP than the top player on the winning team they should get a star. 

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Honestly I did not get the feeling that to many players this season at least in forward Ranks, were trying to save Stars.....

Unless the team lost 3 ships in the first 5 minutes type stuff I think we were all trying to win.

This season has I think been nothing like it was last season.

Now this I am sure of..... be careful what you ask of because what we get could be far worse.

The worst ideas always get tried out first lol.

Hey who knows maybe they can start doing Half Stars :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GUNSTAR_THE_LEGEND
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Though I feel like save a star isnt what wg hopes it would be, I do think there needs to be something to separate skill from the bad luck of losses

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I don't think people would like removing the save a star system as much as they think.  For anyone with a better than 50% WR saving a star can cut the grind to rank one way down.  If you couldn't save a star the number of people ranking out would probably be cut in half.

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1 hour ago, NoZoupForYou said:

Using Game Theory to explain why the keep a star function hurts ranked gameplay and why it’s time to ditch it.  Basically it is more beneficial for a player to play to keep a star than to play to win.  This plays out at some level every single round.  The more players that do this, the more it impacts your chance to win.   

 

 

Your analogy has two considerable flaws.  All the major things you need to do to finish top of the team are the same things necessary to win.  Unless you can explain to everyone here another way to remove enemy ships off the map other than damage.  And capping, and staying alive, and choosing the right ammo type (so you can do more dmg), and resetting caps and all the other things that reward xp.

Think about it.  If all players played well enough to finish first on a losing team, they'd win the match.  If they lost, it was because they simply weren't good enough at maximizing damage while minimizing damage taken.  Perfect example, show me a replay of 7 players playing to keep a star, meaning they all stayed alive at least 10 minutes to farm enough damage, and the team lost.  You can't.  There are no videos like that.  Your team loses because some schmuck suicided himself and triggered the snowball effect.  The reason you think you lost on points is only the after effects of not having the numbers to take or retake caps.

And the second reason why your theory is flawed is you think 7 random players not on teamspeak will actually be any more effective at playing as a team and listening to each other and sticking to a plan with or without the keep a star feature.  We all know that's not true.  Your bias that the team would work together more is because you're looking at it through the eyes of a unicum player, which represents such an insignificant percentage of the player base.

You're going to get just as many derps suiciding themselves like the gearing we yelled at to get out of C as everyone but apparently him saw two radar cruisers closing in on his position and he refused to leave.  And of course got deleted.  Then blamed us afterwards that he had to hide behind a rock because of radar and then tried to leave because we told him so and that's what killed him.  Of course, we told him to leave many minutes ago way before the cruisers were in radar range but this is the quality of the player base, mostly irrational people with cognitive deficiencies and lack of awareness and personal responsibility.

The save a star system is perfect for when you're clearly punching way above your weight and you get crappers like the DD above on your team.  If we want a truly ranked system, we need a way to punish bad play more and reward skilled play more in order to properly place players among the ranks where they belong.  The current system does not effectively separate the wheat from the chaff.  The star system doesn't go far enough.  They need to reward, say, two stars for players finishing top two on the winning team and take two stars away from the bottom 2 or 3 players on the losing team.  This will prevent the garbage players from having luck carry them into the higher ranks while the truly exceptional players don't have to grind 200+ matches to get to the rank that reflects their ability.  Been saying it from day 1, WG should change the name of the game mode from ranked to grind.  But I guess Webster's Dictionary doesn't apply in this game.

 

EDIT:  This whole angst against the keep a star system is based on irrationality.  When a player loses a star they are naturally going to hate (be jealous) at the person on the team that kept their star.  This is natural human behavior.  Players think they were just as worthy of keeping a star and it's not "fair" they lost it and the other player didn't.  We always inflate our value.  It's part of what makes humans human, our ego.  In our mental flow chart, our thought process, we need to seek a coping mechanism to deal with disappointment.  And what a better way to do that than focus our ire on the one player that didn't suffer what we suffered.  And then we take it a step further and irrationally believe that focusing on star preservation actually is detrimental to the team's chances of winning.  Not only did they keep their star, but they are the primary reason why we lost.  Not the afk person on the team.  Not the crapper that suicided himself in 3 minutes.  No.  The bottom garbage players who didn't even break 400 base xp aren't the cause of the loss, it was the one player that did 170k damage and 3 kills and one solo cap.  You guys really need to gain some perspective.  Seriously.

Edited by VGLance
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Everything @VGLance said, especially about the number of stars lost and awarded being changed, to reward the better players, and punish the worst.

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The term often used in the USN that applies here: "One crew, one screw". Used by chiefs (and first-classes that failed the last chief board) everywhere to justify crew wide punishments for the actions of one [edited].

 

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8 minutes ago, sulghunter331 said:

The term often used in the USN that applies here: "One crew, one screw". Used by chiefs (and first-classes that failed the last chief board) everywhere to justify crew wide punishments for the actions of one [edited].

 

I like it...  similar to a Blue Falcon...

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1 hour ago, NoZoupForYou said:

Using Game Theory to explain why the keep a star function hurts ranked gameplay and why it’s time to ditch it.  Basically it is more beneficial for a player to play to keep a star than to play to win.  This plays out at some level every single round.  The more players that do this, the more it impacts your chance to win.   

 

 

I'm sorry, Zoup.  I like you as a CC, but this argument is such horse crap.

I don't like the star system as currently constituted, and believe that it needs a total overhaul.  The problem isn't this prisoner dilemma horse crap.  It's that the entire system places too much value on nothing but winning and losing, and not enough on playing well.  Unproductive players on winning teams get rewarded while very productive players get boned if they get stuck with a team of total potatoes.  In the current model of the star system, the save a star thing is the only backdoor that a productive player has to get anything out of MM sticking him on a crap team.  But IMHO, what's really needed is a total rework that values both winning/losing as well as playing productively.

This is the model I've been suggesting for months.

 

Fight the Ranked battle as normal.  At the end of the battle, put all 14 players in a single list, sorted by their base XP earned (which would also be calculated as normal, with winning/losing being a big factor in how much base XP you earned).  At this point, do the following:

The top 7 base XP earning players, win or lose, earn a star.

Of the remaining 7 players (i.e. the bottom 7 base XP earning players), the players on the winning team do not lose a star.  And the players who were on the losing team do lose a star.

The benefits here are that playing to win still matters, but it's not the end all and be all.  Also, if you want to earn a star, if you're on the winning team, you have to play fairly well.  Not spectacularly so, but well enough to have a base XP earned high enough to be in the top 7 players in the battle, which if you're on the winning team, isn't that hard to do.  However, if you were on the winning team and played VERY poorly (and didn't crack into the top 7), you'd still not lose a star.  But if you're on the losing team and do not play very, very well, you will lose a star.  NOTE that there is NO guarantee whatsoever that someone on the losing team will gain a star or not lose one.  Being top XP earner on the losing team isn't good enough for you to avoid losing a star.  You have to have outplayed at least one member of the winning team (as measured by base XP).  And it is theoretically possible to have more than one player on the losing team cracking into the top 7 base XP earners.  It's just rather difficult, because the base XP earned when you win is a good deal higher than when you lose.  So, to crack the top 7 from the losing team requires a VERY good game.  Also, this model can have a tweak that includes a proviso that if you earn 0 base XP (i.e. AFK), you would automatically lose a star, even if you happened to be on the winning team.

IMO, this model rewards playing to win as well as productive play.  Some people will complain that they should gain a star if they were on the winning team no matter what.  I disagree.  If you had a totally crappy play, like you yoloed into the enemy and died on first contact, you really don't deserve to gain a star if you truly did that little, no matter what kind of "win as a team, lose as a team" nonsense you try to argue.  if you're on the winning team, the level of play required to crack the top 7 base XP earners out of the 14 players in the battle is NOT really all that high.  And if you didn't play well enough even factoring in the victory bonus into your base XP earned to out score someone on the losing team who played very, very well, you frankly do not deserve to gain a star.  But you at least get the benefit of not losing one.

 

Anyways, that's my take.

With the current flawed star system model, the "not lose a star" thing is very necessary.  But the overall ranked advancement model would be far better, IMO, if a system like the one I suggest above was implemented.

 

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3 minutes ago, NoZoupForYou said:

I like it...  similar to a Blue Falcon...

Terms like that and "On crew, one screw" makes me think that the brass actually wants us to turn the black sheep in to private Pyle.

Spoiler

Welcome to the USN, the world's greatest janitorial service.

"This is my mop. There are many like it, but this one is mine."

 

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1 hour ago, VGLance said:

Your analogy has two considerable flaws.  

Long and cute but you know killing dds gives little damage yet counts much more than burning 10 or 20k off a conq in terms of win generation in ranked. Why do you think star savers play conq and zao to grind useless xp? Damage means nothing in ranked as far as winning, only cap control matters. And star saving diminishes team play. Players have been exploiting it as zoup suggests.

I think it needs to go.

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14 minutes ago, sulghunter331 said:

The term often used in the USN that applies here: "One crew, one screw". Used by chiefs (and first-classes that failed the last chief board) everywhere to justify crew wide punishments for the actions of one [edited].

 

These aren't teams like clan battles teams.   Ranked battles are just random battles with smaller teams where you're trying to work together.  But the REALITY is that it's all a crap shoot.  Sometimes you get stuck with a team of total losers and trying to say that a good player who plays well should get boned because RNG and MM saddled him with those losers is complete and total nonsense.  Some Ranked players don't care about winning or losing or saving a star.  Some just want to troll their team.  And no players should ever be held responsible for some god damned troll on their team.

This entire win as a team/lose as a team concept only works when your group really *IS* a team.  A *team* that's been together and trained for a while.  Like a Clan's clan battles team!  But absolutely not a randomly selected "team" for Ranked.

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8 minutes ago, monpetitloup said:

Long and cute but you know killing dds gives little damage yet counts much more than burning 10 or 20k off a conq in terms of win generation in ranked. Why do you think star savers play conq and zao to grind useless xp? Damage means nothing in ranked as far as winning, only cap control matters. And star saving diminishes team play. Players have been exploiting it as zoup suggests.

I think it needs to go.

You contradicted yourself.  Do you really need me to point it out?  You're an exceptional player which means you have above average intelligence.  It'd be embarrassing if I have to spell it out for you.

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Rule #341 of Online Gaming: Never, ever trust any player in an online game unless said player is physically in the same room as you.

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3 hours ago, NoZoupForYou said:

Using Game Theory to explain why the keep a star function hurts ranked gameplay and why it’s time to ditch it.  Basically it is more beneficial for a player to play to keep a star than to play to win.  This plays out at some level every single round.  The more players that do this, the more it impacts your chance to win.   

 

 

I think your using the Prisoner's Dilemma is a great analogy. Because the Players know there is a "Save a Star" Feature, they play to favor themselves if the match can't be won by switching to "damage farmer" mode. As seen in the last season of Ranked Battles, the most damage done usually earns the most XP for the battle and "Saves a Star". Nothing changed this season except where the Tier X and Irrevocable Ranks are ...

 

shot-18.05.08_22.56.47-0391.jpg

 

shot-18.05.08_22.57.37-0968.jpg

shot-18.05.08_22.58.58-0983.jpg

shot-18.05.13_21.31.17-0948.jpg

Edited by BigJohnsonLogan

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Whether the prisoner's dilemma applies or not, I'd be happy to get rid of save-a-star.  Ranked battles should, IMHO, aspire to team play, in which your skill at helping a team is what advances you through the ranks.  The XP system is too gameable; any revision to ranked that put more emphasis on XP results would only worsen that.

At present, there are four dynamics to Ranked that create upward (er, downward, er, let's say forward, that is, in a good direction) pressure on players' progress: irrevocable stars, irrevocable ranks, the star bonus on gaining a rank, and save-a-star.  Save-a-star is the only one that applies past Rank 10.  So the question is, if you eliminated save-a-star, what would you replace it with?

"Nothing" is a fine answer.  Achieving Rank 1 from Rank 10 would then become purely a function of being +40 in wins over losses over some span of games.  On average, it would take a player winning at 52% past Rank 10 1000 games to rank out; someone winning at 54% would average 500 games past R10.

This would decrease the number of players able to rank out, or even to advance very far past 10.  If you wanted some upward pressure on progress, such that ranking out would be about as easy/difficult as it is now, you could compensate for the loss of save-a-star by reintroducing some of the other positive pressure dynamics (e.g. irrevocable ranks or bonus stars) below rank 10.  If this were coupled with an increase in the number of leagues below rank 10, such that the players trying to get to 5 from 6, for instance, would no longer face the potential of being teamed with players spinning their wheels at 10, it could simultaneously reduce some of the frustration better players feel about getting a bad run of team luck.  It is just that "better" would be unequivocally redefined as "helps teams win more often than not over the long(ish) run."

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4 minutes ago, Lillehuntrix said:

Whether the prisoner's dilemma applies or not, I'd be happy to get rid of save-a-star.  Ranked battles should, IMHO, aspire to team play, in which your skill at helping a team is what advances you through the ranks.  The XP system is too gameable; any revision to ranked that put more emphasis on XP results would only worsen that.

At present, there are four dynamics to Ranked that create upward (er, downward, er, let's say forward, that is, in a good direction) pressure on players' progress: irrevocable stars, irrevocable ranks, the star bonus on gaining a rank, and save-a-star.  Save-a-star is the only one that applies past Rank 10.  So the question is, if you eliminated save-a-star, what would you replace it with?

"Nothing" is a fine answer.  Achieving Rank 1 from Rank 10 would then become purely a function of being +40 in wins over losses over some span of games.  On average, it would take a player winning at 52% past Rank 10 1000 games to rank out; someone winning at 54% would average 500 games past R10.

This would decrease the number of players able to rank out, or even to advance very far past 10.  If you wanted some upward pressure on progress, such that ranking out would be about as easy/difficult as it is now, you could compensate for the loss of save-a-star by reintroducing some of the other positive pressure dynamics (e.g. irrevocable ranks or bonus stars) below rank 10.  If this were coupled with an increase in the number of leagues below rank 10, such that the players trying to get to 5 from 6, for instance, would no longer face the potential of being teamed with players spinning their wheels at 10, it could simultaneously reduce some of the frustration better players feel about getting a bad run of team luck.  It is just that "better" would be unequivocally redefined as "helps teams win more often than not over the long(ish) run."

Again, you're ignoring the fact that all the things skilled players do to preserve a star on a losing team are almost exactly the same as what you do to win. And if you suck at finishing first on a losing team because you take 5 min to load into the match to begin with and suck at aiming and never look at the minimap, you're not going to be a contributing factor on a team with or without the save a star feature. 

Stop blaming the top performer for the loss.  Your team would have won if the crappers on your team produced the results the too person did.  That is undeniable.

Edited by VGLance
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let me be blunt, let me be very very blunt

 

each star saved is one match wasted. ranked isnt a fun place, we want to get out of ranked ASAP, if there's still any chance to win a match, we dont resort to damage farming. ranking out at 300games at a 49% win rate is so painful to even imagine, no sane r1 player would ever choose to do that. to WIN is the objective unless like vglance said your lone DD suicide within first 3min

 

 

also, people dont understand what it takes to win this game. i keep getting yelled at for doing what is right in the r15 bracket(less often in r10 bracket now).

when i go off alone in another direction, people kept yelling at me to "come back and stick together(and it's not a CV match)" or "work together as a team", when anyone that has any understand of this game knows keeping all your guns in the same direction = free win for enemy.

even when i score 5 citadels on 20km montanas near friendly republic, enemy still says "how did our 2 full HP montanas got owned by  one11k HP republic?" and this clearly shows most people have no idea how this game works

TL;DR: those players arent "playing to save a star", they are playing to win, people are just too bad at this game to understand what they are doing

 

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5 minutes ago, jason199506 said:

let me be blunt, let me be very very blunt

 

each star saved is one match wasted. ranked isnt a fun place, we want to get out of ranked ASAP, if there's still any chance to win a match, we dont resort to damage farming. ranking out at 300games at a 49% win rate is so painful to even imagine, no sane r1 player would ever choose to do that. to WIN is the objective unless like vglance said your lone DD suicide within first 3min

 

 

also, people dont understand what it takes to win this game. i keep getting yelled at for doing what is right in the r15 bracket(less often in r10 bracket now).

when i go off alone in another direction, people kept yelling at me to "come back and stick together(and it's not a CV match)" or "work together as a team", when anyone that has any understand of this game knows keeping all your guns in the same direction = free win for enemy.

even when i score 5 citadels on 20km montanas near friendly republic, enemy still says "how did our 2 full HP montanas got owned by  one11k HP republic?" and this clearly shows most people have no idea how this game works

TL;DR: those players arent "playing to save a star", they are playing to win, people are just too bad at this game to understand what they are doing

 

This. Entirely this. As a concept I don't mind the "save a star" feature as a concept considering how WG has set up their ranked mode.

But as someone who's played ranked in League of Legends and a few other formats as well, WG has one of the WORST setups for ranked I've ever seen. Now, I understand the whole "It encourages team play and is meant to draw the more serious players into the game mode" viewpoint that they're going with. But that being said, it is FAR too easy for things to go drastically wrong with trolls/MM/idiots to stick with this "Wins are the only thing that matters" mentality they've given us. And I agree with you that most if not all of us simply want to rank out and be done with it, not that I have any experience in that field but that's another matter altogether.

All that being said, unless WG suddenly decides to rework their entire setup for ranked, we're going to be stuck with it.

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Looks like some people forgot why "keep a star" was added in the first place.

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2 minutes ago, VGLance said:

Again, you're ignoring the fact that all the things skilled players do tk preserve a star on s losing team are almost exactly the same as what you do to win. And if you suck at finishkng first on a losing team because you take 5 min to load into the match to begin with and suck at aiming and never look at the minimap, you're not going to be a contributing factor on a team with or without the save a star feature. 

Stop blaming the top performer for the loss.  Your team would have won if the crappers on your team produced the results the too person did.  That is undeniable.

Often, yes.  I'll even grant mostly.  But not always.  The XP system is certainly better than it used to be, but it is not perfectly aligned with helping your team win.  Winning, on the other hand, is.  You'd be the first to shoot down anyone who claimed that solo WR in randoms (over a sufficient number of games, playing an assortment of ships not wholly OP, at a mix of tiers) is not beyond a player's control.  Why would you object to a version of ranked that would award winning and only winning?  The good and bad teams average out, your skill at helping the team provides the upward pressure (or not).  We insert irrevocable ranks to make it take more or less time for players who aspire to rank 1.  Easy, simple, unambiguous.

Anecdotes are anecdotes, but this was a game from yesterday.  We had triangular maps with the spawns opposite one another near the neutral cap.  Our team sent four ships to the neutral cap (A) and three to "our" cap (B) at the base of the triangle.  The red team sent everyone to its uncontested cap (C), ignoring A, and then tried to work up through the islands toward B.  Once the three of us at B figured this out, we turned and kited and delayed.  By the time the red team swung into B, the score was something like 900 to 500 in our favor, and we simply beat them on points.  End result: zero ships destroyed on our team, one ship on theirs - a completely strategic victory (or failure on their part).  Our top XP earner, with something like 1250 xp in a tier 10 match, was a Montana; as one of the people kiting from B I got to fire my guns and had something like 850 for third place in a Moskva.  But do you know what I'm very glad about?  I'm very glad that the short range cruisers who had gone to A from our team - a Mino and a DM, if I recall, who barely were able to fire their guns until 2 minutes before the match ended - didn't feel the need to charge out into the middle in order to get some damage to improve their XP standing, as they might have if we had a system that awarded overall XP results from both winning and losing teams.  As it was, everyone's XP sucked, the Mino might have been upset that he hadn't gone for coffee instead...but a win is a win is a win.  Good match.

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